Monday, July 29, 2019

Men's Basketball Hires New Assistant Coach

New SLCC Men's Basketball assistant coach Rosbie Mutcherson.

Familiarity and comfort are two adjectives that are important in the coaching community.

Those words signify a working relationship that is already tangible and effective, meaning little time is spent on building camaraderie and more time is spent on leading student-athletes. It should come as no surprise then the Salt Lake Community College men's basketball program found an experienced coach with ties to new coach 
Kyle Taylor as he announced Friday that the Bruins have hired Rosbie Mutcherson to be an assistant coach.

Mutcherson, who played for Taylor when he was a coach with NCAA Division-III Covenant College, has a wide range of coaching experience, including working as an assistant last year with Northwest Florida State. He also has previously worked at Crown College and Adams State University in Colorado. In addition, Mutcherson has varied playing experience that includes playing overseas.

Taylor said the hiring of his former player will be a significant boost to the Bruins moving forward.

"I am thrilled to announce that Coach Rosbie Mutcherson will be joining our staff at Salt Lake as an assistant coach," he said. "Rosbie is a tremendous recruiter who is well-connected, outstanding at building relationships, and is a grinder. Coach Mutcherson has already helped us to upgrade our talent and gotten us in the mix with some of the best players in the country who need to go to junior colleges.  We are very fortunate to have Rosbie join the Bruin basketball family.

"As a college coach, anytime you can hire a former player you respect it's a huge win. Rosbie played for me when I was the head coach at Covenant College, and we've maintained a close relationship since he graduated. I am very proud of what he has accomplished so far in his college coaching career and I am excited that we were able to land him at SLCC."

With a wide range of experience in his coaching tenure, Mutcherson will have a wide-ranging role with the Bruins. Specifically, he will coach the offense, help with post player development, recruiting, team travel, apparel, player housing and handle promotional elements such as opponent scouting reports and game planning. All three assistants - 
Brian Swindlehurst, Mutcherson, and Ricardo Rush - will create and assist with opponent scouting reports and game planning.

Mutcherson said he is excited about the opportunity in Salt Lake.

"Salt Lake Community College is a national power," he said. "Two national championships in the last 10 years told me everything I needed to know about the program and infrastructure here at Salt Lake. SLCC has so many things to offer student-athletes on-and-off the court that it did not take me very long to realize this place is special. I have known and respected 
Kyle Taylor for years, so it was really a win, win situation for me.

"I was lucky to learn and be part of two unbelievable years at Northwest Florida under Steve DeMeo; his track record at the junior college level speaks for itself. The opportunity to develop professionally, compete for national championships, and live in a bustling city is what drew me to SLCC. Like at Northwest, our staff is full of guys in it for the right reasons. 
Brian Swindlehurst and Ricardo Rush are workhorses and I can not wait to see what the year has in store for us."

Salt Lake finished the 2018-19 season with a 20-9 record and a mark of 7-5 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. The Bruins have won two national championships (2009 and 2016) and have won at least 20-games for 17 consecutive seasons.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Cool Classes: Climbing

SLCC student Rachael Mackay reaches for her next handhold.

Andraya Cortez has her sights set on law school, but until then she’s conquering a few fears, like her fright of heights. What better way to do that than enroll in a climbing class at Salt Lake Community College?

Cortez, 22, worried a lot at first about the integrity of foot holds or reliability of her harness. She started slow with bouldering and worked her way up to scaling high walls that require ropes to safely ascend and descend. Her fears have diminished with each climb. “I sweat a lot,” she says. “I work out really hard, and then I go home sore. But I feel great because I did a good job.”

The Front's David Farkas offers advice to SLCC student Andraya Cortez.

Cortez and more than 30 other SLCC students are signed up this summer for climbing classes at The Front in Salt Lake City. The college also offers the same courses through Momentum in Sandy and the Dimple Dell Recreation Center. Students receive one credit for successful completion of the class, which for many fulfills a degree requirement through the college’s Lifelong Wellness program.

David Farkas, The Front’s adult program manager, and other staffers take students through the different stages of learning how to climb. Bouldering. How to tie a knot for belaying. Top roping. The best, most efficient ways to move and place hands or feet. “You don’t have to be a strong person,” says Farkas. “But you need to know how to use the strength you have efficiently.”

Farkas is encouraged that SLCC offers Rock Climbing 1 and 2 so that more people in a community where climbing is popular can learn the correct movement and technical skills to remain safe while doing what they love. “A little knowledge can be dangerous,” he says about trying to casually learn through friends. “I applaud the college for joining with us in giving people the chance to move safely the first time around.”

SLCC students tackle a high wall during climbing class.

Henrick Papritz is taking some cool classes at SLCC, like Intro to Nanotechnology, but so far nothing like climbing. The future astronaut – at least that’s his dream – had only climbed a few times prior to the class at The Front. “I really liked it,” says Papritz, 19. “So, this just sounded fun. And it’s awesome.”

Alec Anderson could no longer afford to attend a four-year university when he enrolled at SLCC, where he is completing his general education courses before transferring to Brigham Young University – he might major in computer science or game development. The 23-year-old has developed some tendonitis in his elbows from the class, but so far, he says, it’s been worth it.

Anderson takes turns climbing and belaying inside on a hot June day with Rachael Mackay, the youngest in the group at 16 and a student at Itineris Early College High School. While at SLCC, Mackay, who loves to travel, plans on studying anthropology or tourism. She picked up the climbing bug from an older brother. “Although I already knew the basics,” says the youngest of six siblings, “they went over it pretty well. I enjoy seeing the other students improving.”

SLCC students take time for a little bouldering without ropes.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Westpointe Center Receives Community Partner Award from Horizonte

Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, an educational institution in the Salt Lake City School District, recently honored the new Westpointe Workforce Training & Education Center with its 2019 Community Partner Award.

Westpointe granted Horizonte students six scholarships for courses in Plastic Injection Molding Technology and Composites Technology.

"This ensured that our students received training to meet the ongoing demands of Utah's high-growth industry," the award citation said. "Horizonte plans to expand next school year to provide courses in all trades to all our students. Thank you, Westpointe, for your cooperation with our school."

Assistant Principal Liz Gonzales presented the award to SLCC Associate Vice President Rick Bouillon at Horizonte's graduation ceremony in June.

New Staff Association Executive Board Elected for 2019-2020

This week SLCC’s Staff Association elected a new executive board, with delegates representing the employees at each campus. 

Sean Crossland

Susanna Garcia (Jordan)
Jim Buchannan (Miller)
Fen Rong Liu (South City)
Emily Barnes (Taylorsville Redwood)
Jan Rogers (Taylorsville Redwood)
Idolina Quijada (Airport Center, Library Square, West Valley and Westpointe Centers)

Shauna Gordon (Jordan)
Mireya Castillo (Miller)
Brett Campbell (South City) 
Malin Francis (Taylorsville Redwood)
Trina Frandsen (Taylorsville Redwood)
Gina Alfred (Airport Center, Library Square, West Valley and Westpointe Centers) 

We’re grateful for the committed work of President David Brower, Secretary Jan Meigs, and outgoing board members Jill Gardner, Angie Hunter, Christina Rice and Rosie Summerhayes.

We’re excited to see what the new year—and new executive board!—have in store. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cool Classes: Hiking

Joli Nay (left) and student Bella Manuel hike the Church Fork trail in Mill Creek Canyon.

Salt Lake Community College instructor Joli Nay hikes with students for eight weeks each summer. Dream job. Right? Looking at Nay at a trailhead on a summer’s day – t-shirt, sunglasses, shorts – you think, ‘Really? This gig pays money?’ It’s true. “It’s just fun,” she smiles. “I get paid to hike.”

Nay actually teaches several courses within the Exercise Science Department at SLCC. Skills? Bunches. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, a master’s degree in exercise science, a bachelor’s degree in combined psychology, Spanish and communications and even a Fit Tech degree from SLCC. That’s a lot of academia. But hiking, worth one required credit within SLCC’s Lifelong Wellness program, gets her out of the classroom and into the woods.

There are no prerequisites. All skill levels are welcome. Hike at your own pace – you just have to go with at least one other person. “This is one of the few classes at SLCC where I encourage people to bring others,” says Nay.

Student Brielle Bowyer (left) and her mother Kelly Bowyer head toward Grandeur Peak.

The first to arrive at the Grandeur Peak hike in Millcreek Canyon are the Bowyer ladies, Brielle, 26, and her energetic mother Kelly, 58. At least since her daughter was born, Kelly gets up every morning at 3:30 a.m. to exercise before going to work for 10 hours as an office manager for a doctor. Why invite Mom? “Because she’s my best buddy,” Brielle says. “And she’s my hiking buddy.” They hike at least once a week during the summer anyway. “I love hiking so much,” she adds. “I figured, I’m going to be hiking anyway, I might as well get credit for it.” Brielle, a surgical tech who took a break from education to earn money for college, is back on track as a pre-med student at SLCC toward becoming a doctor.

The Bowyers, early to class, take off first from the Church Fork trailhead near a gushing waterfall as the teacher waits for the rest of the group to arrive. McKay Nielsen and Maddy Heitman – they want to hike faster than the rest of the group, 11 in all – are the next two to buddy up. Like everyone else in the class, they’re at least expected to just show up – attendance is a big part of the grade – and also complete “modules” outside of class. Homework involves taking pictures while on hikes and writing about the experiences.

Maddy Heitman (left) and McKay Nielsen buddy up for a hike.

“I get to learn all of these new trails that I’ll do again in the future with buddies,” says Nielsen, 24, of Farmington. He’s studying computer science at SLCC and envisions a career in cyber security. He and the other students are also encouraged to engage in trail maintenance and picking up trash as well as simply being kind and courteous to other hikers on the trail. After all, Nay says, they’re representing the college while hiking. She also talks with students about appreciating all of the enviable outdoor offerings in Utah.

Heitman, 19, has already traveled overseas quite a bit on faith-based missions and loves the outdoors, especially in her home state. “I love hiking, so, it’s an easy class to do over the summer,” she says. Heitman plans to graduate next spring from SLCC and pursue an undergraduate degree in sociology, but not before taking a gap year to do more humanitarian work.

A group of Joli Nay's hiking students stop to rest.

Pairs and groups stagger their starts and head up the mountain, followed by Nay and a few other students, including Bella Manuel and her one-year-old son, Ryker, on her back. Manuel, 21, of Taylorsville, is one of five family members, including Mom and Dad, currently going to college – a sister is headed to SLCC’s Fashion Institute.

Manuel is attacking her general education courses on her way to becoming an art teacher at a high school, where she hopes to pick up her passion again for softball as a coach (she played for colleges in Iowa and Ohio and, as a catcher, played in an NAIA World Series). She’s still getting back in shape after having a baby and, feeling the heat and altitude, has to turn back early for this hike. “It’s a good way to get outside with the little one,” she says, glancing over her shoulder while bouncing down the trail. “I hate turning back early, but I’m outside.” Back at the trailhead, just as she predicted, little Ryker was fast asleep.

Bella Manuel's hike back to the trailhead puts son Ryker in a relaxed state.